By Rick Reeno
WBA 'regular' junior middleweight champion Erislandy Lara (19-1-2, 12KOs) is among the many who believe Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (43-1-1, 31KOs) is struggling to make the junior middleweight limit of 154-pounds.
On the day of the weigh-in for his March fight with Alfredo Angulo, Canelo requested an increase of an extra pound to the max weight - which raised it to 155-pounds. As part of the agreement, Angulo's purse was increased by $100,000.
For the July 12th clash with Lara, taking place the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Canelo has once again given himself the wiggle room of an extra one-pound.
"That is 100%, clearly, he is having problems with weight. Honestly it doesn't matter what weight he comes in at because I'm going to give him a boxing lesson and bust his mouth," Lara said.
According to Canelo, the extra pound was requested because he had no desire to fight for the WBA's 'regular' title. He views Floyd Mayweather Jr., who holds the WBA's "super title" at the weight, as the real junior middleweight champion for the World Boxing Association.
Lara's manager, Luis DeCubas Jr., doesn't buy Canelo's explanation.
"That's just excuses [because he can't make weight]. He fought Austin Trout, who had the WBA 'regular' title in a unification match [in April 2013] and Mayweather was still the WBA 'super champion back then. So he's saying back then it was a real title but now it's not. It's just an excuse," DeCubas said.
Lara has been hunting for a fight with Canelo for some time. He believes the door was finally open because Canelo had very few options for July. And Lara also feels their verbal confrontation, following Canelo's TKO of Angulo, set the stage for their match.
"First of all there are no opponents, there are no high caliber opponents. Now he has to go prove himself," Lara said. "I think at the end of the day [calling him out at the press conference] did it, because it showed that he didn't want the fight and it put a little pressure on him and now the fight is made."